Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy can't wait to get injured teammate Nick Markakis back in the lineup.

Markakis, the club's No. 3 hitter, is currently on a brief minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie, and could join the team — barring a setback — for Thursday's workout day before opening the second half of the season. He's been on the disabled list since June 1 recovering from surgery to remove a broken piece of the hamate bone in his right wrist.

"A lot," Hardy said when asked how much Markakis' return will help. "He's a great hitter; he's always been a great hitter."